Strategies for Crisis Communication
Businesses can do a few different things to avoid a public relations crisis ending with the reputation of a business being badly damaged. The first thing that every company needs to do is think ahead and start preparing before a negative situation can even happen. Additionally, companies need to educate both their employees and all of the executives regarding crisis management concepts, and various crisis communication strategies to be able to handle a PR crisis in the first place.
To be able to handle a crisis, companies first need to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Figuring this out helps companies better understand the types of crisis situations that could have a negative impact on overall business operations. To do that, companies should be analyzing business operations, both internally and externally, to figure out if there are any gaps or vulnerabilities, including inspecting infrastructure systems and sites. Additionally, companies can also conduct crisis situation training sessions, to see how various events can unfold, and how they can respond to each situation.
With the help of a crisis communication plan companies will be able to easily communicate with their employees, stakeholders, and the general public. This is because a crisis communication plan is a sort of a reference plan that all companies can use during different types of emergency situations. This plan will specify the people that are going to be in charge of creating the messaging in the public statements that the company will be releasing, as well as the tools that are going to be used to distribute any important information.
Assessment and response
During a public relations crisis, it’s important for the crisis management team to determine the reach and intensity of the crisis before starting to communicate with the public and release any sort of statements. This will help the team determine the appropriate level of response to the situation. It also allows everyone on the communication team of the company to get on the same page about which pieces of information should be made public, and what statement the company should be releasing as soon as possible. The key to creating a good response to a PR crisis is to be consistent and accurate in every statement the company makes. That means the company and its representatives should be acknowledging the situation, accepting the responsibility behind it, and apologizing, as well as making everyone aware of what the company will be doing in the future to prevent such situations from happening again.
When a crisis situation happens, the priority of the company should be public safety. That should include the safety of the employees, customers, as well as anyone else that has been impacted by the crisis situation. For some companies, this might mean shutting down business operations at a specific location if an employee ended up getting injured, or if specific products were recalled because they negatively impacted customers. Then, the company has to take the needs and feelings of its customers into consideration, and address each one of those, before the company can examine the impact of the crisis on its bottom line and reputation.